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Italy tightens anti-Covid curbs after rise in cases

Updated October 26, 2020 11:34 IST
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (IANS)

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte yesterday announced new measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Conte said that pubs, bars, restaurants, and ice cream shops must shut down at 6 p.m.

The new measures will go into effect from Sunday midnight through November 24, the Premier explained during a nationally televised press conference.

According to the new measures, 75 per cent of high school students must follow their lessons remotely, Xinhua news agency reported.

Movie theaters, concert halls, gyms, swimming pools, as well as gaming and betting halls, must shut down. All contact sports are suspended except for national leagues.

Also suspended for a month are conferences, trade fairs, and civil ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. Museums, however, can stay open, Conte said.

The Prime Minister added that the government will promote smart working in public administration and that it “strongly recommends” the private sector do the same in order to reduce crowding on public transportation.

Conte said that while the government is not imposing a curfew, “we strongly recommend that people only leave home for work or health-related reasons.”

The move came after the Ministry of Health reported a surge of more than 17,000 infections and 151 fatalities on Saturday, pushing the tally to 203,182 and toll to 37,210 in the country.

Several of Italy’s 20 regions have recently imposed night-time curfews in a bid to stop people from crowding together. They include the northern Lombardy and Piedmont regions, Lazio in central Italy, and Calabria and Campania in the south.

The tightened restrictions came as Italy and other countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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